Obituary: Marilyn Y. White


November 3, 2023

Marilyn Y. White, of Spokane, Washington passed away Oct. 16, 2023, at the age of 88. Born on March 5, 1935, Marilyn grew up on a farm near Ogilvie, and was the eldest of nine children. While attending Ogilvie High School, she enjoyed singing in the Triple Trio and playing softball.

Marilyn was married to her high school sweetheart, Phillip J. White, on Sept. 18, 1953, in Minneapolis. Phil's choice to become a mechanical engineer required relocating to Chula Vista, California for school and then to Beloit, Wisconsin, for training, before he was hired by Northwest Paper Co. in Cloquet in 1960.

In setting down roots in Cloquet, Marilyn and Phil became longtime members of Zion Lutheran Church. Marilyn was very active in the church, became a Girl and Boy Scout leader, and joined the PTA.

In 1965, Marilyn began working in retail sales at the Johnson Company department store in Cloquet. During her 35 years there, she Marilyn became a labor union representative and led a fight for higher wages and improved work conditions. She also was an early proponent of smoking bans in the workplace.

After retiring, Marilyn worked briefly at the Super One grocery store, and volunteered at the local Goodwill store and the Cloquet hospital and nursing home.

Marilyn loved her family, and often went out of her way to help others. She supported many charitable organizations.

She enjoyed the music of Lawrence Welk, Herb Alpert, and the Harmonicats.

Marilyn was preceded in death by her husband, Phil (1935-2014); her parents, Helen (Peterson) and Alton Sjodin; sister, Donna (Dale) Jones; and brothers David and Michael Sjodin.

Marilyn is survived by her daughter, Laurie (Paul) Johnson; son, Dr. Christopher White; grandsons, Andrew (Shauna) Johnson, Michael (Kristen) Johnson, and Peter Johnson; six great-grandchildren, AnnMarie, Egan, Lauryn, Owen, Addison, and Lillian; brothers Alton (Carol) Sjodin Jr., Richard (Penny) Sjodin, Daniel (Donna) Sjodin, Gregory (Kim) Sjodin and Bradley (Roberta) Sjodin; numerous nieces and nephews; and Buzz, Marilyn's canine grandson.

An inurnment ceremony will be held at Oakwood Cemetery in Mora, Minnesota the summer of 2024. Details to be announced. In lieu of gifts or flowers, the family has requested donations be made on behalf of Marilyn to your local humane society.

Pine Knot News, Nov. 3, 2023


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